There have been many reports that Facebook could be the cause of excessive battery drain on both iPhones and Android phones. Yes it could be, but it doesn’t have to be and it may be using too much battery power simply because the settings aren’t the optimum for battery life. Similarly, it may use excessive amounts of data, pushing you over your contract limit. Once again, it could be just that the settings aren’t the best.
Facebook on Android
Start the Facebook app on an Android phone and press the menu button. Select Settings and then press Refresh interval. There are options to refresh every 30 minutes, one, two or four hours, or even Never. If Facebook is refreshing every 30 minutes it stands to reason that it will use more battery power and more data bandwidth.
Do you really need 30 minute updates on Facebook? Increase the time interval. The Never setting is the best for battery life and minimal data usage. It does not mean that you will never see any updates and a better description would be Manual. You can always start the app yourself and pull down to refresh your Facebook news feed and see what’s new.
The second of Facebook’s settings that affects battery and bandwidth is Video Auto-play. It is possible for videos to appear in your news feed that automatically play without you having to tap them to start them. As you read your news feed and the videos come on the screen, they automatically start. This increases the battery usage because video playing requires extra processing power, and it increases the data bandwidth use because video clips are large compared to text or photos.
Tap Video Auto-play in settings and set it to Wi-Fi only to reduce the bandwidth (Wi-Fi doesn’t count towards data usage), or set it to Off to stop videos auto-playing completely, saving battery power too.
Facebook on iPhone
The iPhone version of Facebook has similar problems and settings. Go to Settings, Facebook, Settings, Auto-Play and set it to Wi-Fi or Off as your prefer. Now go to Settings, General, Background App Refresh. Turn off Facebook. This stops it refreshing in the background. Just open the app and pull down on the news feed to refresh it manually.
- Written by Roland Waddilove
- Created: 18 May 2014